Moda Match Maker March 2016

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Snowman Pillows: A Reversible Trio

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I've always thought Frosty the Snowman was one of the saddest holiday songs ever, because he melts away in the end. It could bring me to tears as a child. So, we came up with a way to keep Frosty safe year 'round. We used a beautiful long napped, Mongolian style faux fur in white (of course) to create a set of three pillows: two simple round pillows and one sphere (we offer a downlaodable pattern below to create the sphere). The front of the pillows feature our snowman's special smile and button accents, plus we added a bright green pom pom scarf - a Frosty fashion essential. When the holidays have come and gone, simply remove the scarf, flip everything over, and you have three fluffy fur pillows to display for as long as you'd like. Frosty thanks you! 

What better way to start your holiday decorating than with these innovative (and reversible) Snowman Pillows. For great general tips and techniques, check out our handy Sewing with Faux Fur tutorial.

Our pillows finish at approximately 10½" in diameter (an approximately 33" sphere), 16" and 20". 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 1½ yards of 58"+ wide faux fur in white; we used 58" wide Curly Mongolian Faux Fur in White
  • Scrap or ⅛ yard of 45"+ wide fleece for the snowman's scarf: we used 60" wide Winterfleece Velour in Lime Green
  • THREE medium size bags of quality polyester fiberfill; we used Premium Polyester Poly-Fil Supreme by Fairfield
    NOTE: We specified a generous amount of faux fur as it can be difficult to cut correctly. The amount shown above allows a bit extra for mistakes. We've also indicated a generous amount of stuffing... better too much than too little. A skinny snowman would just be tragic. 
  • TWELVE black shank buttons: ONE at 1½" for the nose, THREE at 1¼" for the buttons, and EIGHT at 1" for the eyes and mouth - we purchased ours locally
  • All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabric
  • Button/Carpet thread in black for the buttons
  • Scissors
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Straight pins 
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pressing cloth
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Curved needle for sewing buttons
  • Clover Pom Pom Maker; we made 2½" poms, using the large pom maker
  • One small skein of yarn for poms
  • ½ yard of ⅛" elastic
  • Paper, string and pencil as describe below to make circle patterns

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the TWO pattern sheets: Snowman Head Top and Snowman Head Bottom
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
  3. Following the arrows on the patterns, butt together the two pieces and tape in place. Do NOT overlap. You now have one complete wedge pattern.
  4. Download and print the ONE pattern sheet: Scarf End Pattern
    IMPORTANTThis pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. As above, you must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  5. Cut out the pattern piece along the solid line.

Create a circle pattern

  1. Circles are tough to cut freehand, but making a circle pattern is easy. We need two: one 17" and one 21".
  2. Start with a square of paper at least 1" larger than your circle. For our 21" circle, we started with an 22" x 22" square. Make sure this original square is even and true.
  3. Fold the square of into quarters.
  4. Cut a piece of string about 20" long. Tie one end to a small pencil. Pin the other end to the 90˚corner of your folded square of paper, making sure the string measures 10½" from corner pin to pencil point. Adjust the the pinned end if you need to adjust the length. You've just made your own little compass. 
     
  5. Draw an arc from from the bottom corner to the top corner of the folded square. Ta-da, a perfect quarter circle. Cut along the drawn line and unfold. Ta-da again, a 21" circle. 
  6. If you are fresh out of string and pencils, you can also place a see-through ruler at the exact center of the 90˚ corner of your folded square. Swing the ruler from the top to the bottom of the square, like a pendulum, measuring and marking a dot at the 10½" point in five or six spots. Then draw an arc to connect all the marks. Cut along the arc and unfold the circle. 
  7. For the smaller circle, repeat these steps using a 18" square of paper. For your 17" circle, your string should measure 8½". You can also choose to cut down your large circle to the smaller size after you have cut your 21" faux fur circles. Simply refold it and shorten your string from 10½" to 8½".

Final cuts

  1. Using the 21" pattern, cut TWO circles from the faux fur. 
  2. Using the 17" pattern, cut TWO circles from the faux fur.
  3. Using the downloaded pattern, cut SIX wedges from the faux fur. 
  4. If you are new to working with faux fur, take the time to read through our tutorial for the best results. You MUST mark on the wrong side of fur, and you can't just start slicing away like it was regular fabric. The trick is to cut out your pieces without giving your faux fur a bad haircut... because it won't grow back. You'll have a bald spot when you try to sew the seams together.
  5. When cutting, the idea is to cut only the backing and not the fur nap. Use just the tips of your scissors. With the wrong side facing up, slide the bottom blade of your scissors up next to the backing. Cut with short, deliberate snips, being careful to cut just the backing. If you feel a drag, you're starting to cut the nap. Back off and start again. 
  6. Practice cutting on a scrap and you'll quickly get a feel for it. And, take a look at our tutorial for more tips and great step-by-step photos.
  7. From the FLEECE, cut TWO 4" x 36" strips. Then, use the Scarf End Pattern to cut FOUR end pieces.
  8. Cut FOUR 3" lengths of elastic. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

The two body circles

  1. Place each pair of circles right sides together. 
  2. Pin along the seam at a slight angle, this will allow you to sew right up to the pin before pulling it out.
  3. Tuck the fur to the inside as you pin; an aluminum knitting needle works well as a tool to tuck in all those hairs.
  4. Leave an approximately 6" opening for turning and stuffing. 
  5. If possible, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the circle, locking your seam at either side of the 6" opening. Go slowly to maintain a smooth curve.
  7. Turn each pillow right side out. If there are bits of the fur's nap that got stuck in the seam, gently pull them out with a pin. This helps "fluff up" the fur around the seam so it becomes virtually invisible. 
  8. Stuff the pillow so it is pleasantly plump. Remember... no skinny snowmen!
  9. Pin the opening and hand stitch closed

The head

  1. Transfer the elastic markings from the pattern to all six wedges. Simply place a pin at each dot. 
  2. Find the four lengths of elastic. Fold one length in half and place it at the RIGHT pin marking on one wedge. You are pinning on the right side of fur and with the raw edges of the folded elastic aligned with the raw edge of the fur. 
  3. Repeat to place an elastic loop on three additional wedges. Also on the RIGHT.
  4. These four loops will be used to hold the snowman's scarf in place.
  5. Pin the first two "elastic wedges" right sides together. Align the elastic loop on one wedge with the guide pin on the other wedge (in other words, don't pin elastic loop to elastic loop - you want spacing between the loops). Pin along this side only. As with the circles above, tuck in the nap as you pin. 
  6. Starting ½" from the top point and using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the two wedges together. Stop ½" from the bottom point. 
  7. Repeat to add the next "elastic wedges," remembering to always align the guide pin to the loop. This way, your four elastic loops will be evenly spaced across the back of the snowman's head. 
  8. Finally, add the two remaining plain wedges, using the guide pins to keep them aligned with the first four wedges. 
  9. On the final seam, leave an approximate 6" opening at the center of the wedge for turning and stuffing. 
  10. Turn the sphere right side out. As above, if there are bits of the fur's nap that got stuck in the seam, gently pull them out with a pin. This helps "fluff up" the fur around the seams so they become virtually invisible. 
  11. Stuff the pillow so it is pleasantly plump. 
  12. Pin the opening and hand stitch closed. There may also be tiny holes at the top and bottom where the wedges come together. If so, hand stitch these areas closed as well. 

Buttons

  1. Find the three 1¼" buttons. Space them at the center of the 16" pillow. 
  2. Ours were approximately 1½" apart. And we placed them on a slight curve as you can see in the photo above.
  3. Hand stitch each button in place using button/carpet thread and a curved needle. 

    NOTE: Both of these items are optional, but the button/carpet thread keeps these decorative buttons more secure, especially in the hands of inquisitive children. And, the curved needle makes sewing on a curved surface easier. 
  4. Using the same tools, stitch the button face on the snowman's head. Take the time to plan out the position of the eyes, nose and smile. We drew ours first on a piece of paper, holding it up on the pillow until we had a pleasing expression. You can follow our design or create your own "look." 

Scarf

  1. Find all the scarf fleece pieces. 
  2. Pin an curved end piece, right sides together, to each scarf end (well... that sounds obvious, doesn't it) of each long strip.
  3. Stitch all four short seams. We used a zig zag stitch to allow for a bit of stretch. 
  4. Place the two finished strips right sides together and pin in place, aligning all the straight and curved raw edges and leaving an approximate 6" opening along one long side for turning. 
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance stitch around the entire scarf. Go slowly around the ends to maintain a nice curve. Lock your seam on either side of the 6" opening. 
  6. Clip the curves and turn right side out through the opening. 
  7. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin and hand stitch closed. 

Pom poms

  1. We used our Clover Pom Pom maker to create two 2½" poms for the ends of our snowman's scarf. 
  2. We have a great step-by-step tutorial that shows how easy this is to do.
  3. Simply wrap...
  4. cut...
  5. tie and release.
  6. Stitch one pom to each end of the scarf. 
  7. Thread the scarf through the four elastic bands at the back of the snowman's neck and tie in place at the front.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (3)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda - thanks for the link 

Home and Style said:
Home and Style's picture

Wow its cool and beautiful too.. I would love to try it.

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